The Birth Center Believes

Women have the right to seek care that is medically safe, that fits their lifestyle, and that recognizes and respects their individual, physical, spiritual, psychological, and economic needs.

Women and their families have the right and responsibility to assume an active role in their own healthcare.

Childbirth is a normal, healthy process. The role of the caregiver is to support and promote this normal process, while recognizing and dealing with any deviation from normal. Confidence in the normal process is promoted.

The family is the cornerstone of the social structure; therefore, maternity care must support and promote family unity and development. Family members, including siblings, should have the opportunity to be involved in the childbearing experience. Family is defined by the client.

Education is an essential part of quality healthcare. With knowledge freely exchanged, clients are encouraged to make informed choices about their healthcare.

Mission Statement

“To empower and support women and families by providing quality and holistic women’s health care, education, and community.”

Core Values

Holistic, Empowering, & Supportive

Meet Our Nurses

Peggy Lutes RN, CH

Peggy has been working with birthing moms and dads for over 30 years. She received her RN from Bryn Mawr Hospital and worked there as a labor, delivery and postpartum nurse. Her love of teaching was obvious even then, when she developed classes in Baby Care and Breastfeeding for the couples at the hospital. She was trained by Childbirth Education Association and is certified as a Childbirth Education Specialist. She moved to New Jersey, worked at Garden State Hospital in their labor and delivery unit and worked at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in their Antenatal Testing Center. She assisted with the set up and was Head Nurse of the Antenatal testing unit at West Jersey Health System in Vorhees, NJ. Peggy moved with her family 20 years ago to Delaware and worked at St Francis Hospital in their labor and delivery. She came to the Birth Center 13 years ago as part of St Francis and loved it. It really is a wonderful place for families to have a special birth experience. Her first grandchild Adeline was born at the Birth Center in 2006.

Peggy is a Consulting Hypnotist, a Certified Hypnobirthing Educator, Certified HypnoFertility Therapist and founder of Gentle Healing Hypnosis.

Peggy says, “After attending the first birth at the Birth Center I really felt that I went full circle in my career and was thrilled to be back where birth is still considered a miracle of life.”

Debbie Jones, RN

Deb graduated from Presbyterian University of Pennsylvania Nursing School in 1977. Yes 40 years ago! From the start, she knew the difference she wanted to make in this world was through work in women’s health. Immediately after graduating, she worked in Presbyterian Hospital‘s Labor and Delivery department. Since then she has worked in the tri-state area (PA, NJ, DE) entirely in OB/GYN nursing. It was most important to her to be part of offering excellent healthcare to women at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives, pregnancy and birth. She has worked 40 years in labor and delivery; triaging OB/GYN women, doing high-risk home care, case managing pregnant women, teaching prenatal classes, performing prenatal testing, and working in birth centers.

Deb has four children, a dog and 5 cats (because of course, the cat she rescued was pregnant!). Although she has worked in many genres, The Birth Center is definitely her idea of offering the most excellent care to women in one of the most vulnerable times of their lives, pregnancy and birth.

Hannah Chijioke, RNC

Hannah is a Registered Nurse who works per diem here at The Birth Center; she helps with deliveries and home visits.

When she is not at The Birth Center, Hannah keeps busy being a solo mama to 5 amazing kids, running an essential oil team, Thriving Essentially Young Living Team, and teaching webinars on natural health and wellness options for busy families. “Our family motto is “Choosing to Thrive”, helping others learn how to thrive is a passion of mine.” Hannah also picks up shifts at Christiana hospital as an L&D nurse to keep her hospital skills current.

Being a fairly new transplant to the East Coast, Hannah enjoys discovering new places and experiences with her family in Delaware and the surrounding areas. “I think it is so fun that I get to drive through a State Park to go to Target and Trader Joe’s, I love the natural beauty and history of this area!” Hannah enjoys hiking with her family, going to the beach, exploring the Baltimore harbor, enjoying the Christmas experience in NYC, or checking out the fantastic museums and historical sites in Philly and D.C.

Helping women and their families with the birth experience that they desire remains a top priority for Hannah, “although I’ve been at many hundreds of births, each one is still a miracle of joy to me, I love getting to help introduce new family members.”

Lauren McCarthy, RN

Bio coming soon.

Darci O’Donnell, RN

Darci has always been passionate about birth and women’s wellness even from a young age. When pregnant with her first child, 14 years ago, she found The Birth Center and fell in love with the atmosphere. All three of her children were born in the yellow room upstairs, in what she describes as “the most empowering and uplifting experiences of my life.”

Darci has worked as a doula, with Birth In Full Bloom for the last 5 years, helping women fulfill their birth goals. During that time she realized this was the field she wanted to work in once graduating from nursing school. For the last 8 years, Darci has worked at AI DuPont Children’s hospital, first as an aide, and then as a nurse on a med/surg unit. She plans on continuing her education to become a Nurse Midwife.

“I am very excited to be apart of the Birth Center team, as many of these women have been in my life since my first pregnancy. It truly is a family here and this has been a goal of mine for a long time!”

Ashley Rizzo, RN

Ashley Rizzo is a Registered Nurse that graduated from University of Delaware Nursing School in 2010 with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Ashley has always had a passion for women’s health and caring for mothers and babies since a young age. Ashley worked in labor and delivery at Christiana Hospital for two years. Ashley is a mother of twin girls who are 4 and during her pregnancy she fell in love with the birth center while doing her classes preparing for her birth and breastfeeding. Ashley is excited to become a member of the birth center team as it has always been a dream of hers.

Erin Lelko, BSN, RN

Erin spent most of her life surrounded by the medical field – it wasn’t until she headed to Africa on a medical mission trip that she quickly realized nursing was her passion. It was there she learned to care for the whole person (mind, body, spirit) and how to achieve the optimal well-being of a patient. She received her BSN through Neumann University, where her passion for women’s health and maternal medicine was cultivated through involvement in the Social Justice Committee. In 2017 she began her first job with Penn Medicine, Womens and Babies Hospital as a postpartum nurse. Only to confirm her passion for delivery, postpartum, and lactation care. In 2019 she joined Bayada Home Health Pediatrics to widen her view of community nursing. The bustle of the hospital left her longing to spend time with patients and to truly give them autonomy in the care of their families.
Erin loves spending quality time with her family. She and her husband lead international mission trips and serve in youth ministries. Her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, playing music, attending concerts.
The birth of a baby truly changes lives and Erin believes that no matter if it’s the first child or fifth, for a woman it’s another crucial new beginning! That is why she is truly excited to be welcomed onto The Birth Center team. A place where the whole person and family is not only cared for but helped and encouraged to be completely autonomous for the care of their body and child. 

Abbey Trautmann, RN, BSN

Growing up, Abbey developed an interest in nursing and women’s health when she visited her mom’s L&D floor and thought it was so cool that babies were born there! Abbey graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2016. She learned about The Birth Center during her OB class there and instantly connected with the view that childbirth is a normal process that women’s bodies have been created to do and not something to fear. After graduating, Abbey began her career in women’s health on a mother-baby floor at a hospital in Baltimore. In November 2018, she and her husband welcomed their first baby, Aden. After having a great birth experience and attending the mom and baby groups here at TBC, Abbey was sure that helping other moms during their birth and postpartum journey was what she wanted to do. “It’s so refreshing to see and work with women and families who are involved with and attuned to their healthcare.” In her free time, Abbey enjoys spending time with her family and friends, swimming, and being outdoors.


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“I highly recommend TBC because of the high standard of care and the one-on-one attention that each staff member gives to each client.”

- Kelly